Competition Pro USB Joystick Review.
Anyone remember joysticks? Nope. Call yourself retrogamers? Pah! Of course there are those sticks used for fighting games – but I am talking about old school – remember names like Cheetah’s Quickshot Pro, 125 and the Bug, the Zipstick (a favourite of mine), the Logic 3 Stingray pistol joystick (a curious fusion of pistol and joystick), Quickjoy Mega Star, Power Play Cruiser and the workman-like Competition Pro. Which has brought me on nicely to the Competition Pro USB. It has been remade for the USB generation. So how is this going to measure up to the original? Also how does it fare with your old favourite games? The first thing that you will notice is the joystick now features two extra triangular firebuttons. In this day and age this is probably a good idea. However they do not get a lot of play compared to the other two main buttons and felt very hard to press down. They’re also independent now, so you are given a total of 4 different buttons – compared to the original’s one, which in turn was shared between two buttons. There is autofire as well, it only works on the first button function though. The main stick did have a pretty nice microswitch feel to it, very much like the original, and certainly felt quite positive. I have noticed on a few forums that this particular stick got a few mentions about lag but I didn’t seem to notice any. It seemed positive and responsive enough in the whole.
I tested it with MAME, WinUAE and some freeware PC games. On MAME the extra buttons did seem to come in handy, playing Final Fight with it was certainly good. On WinUAE I tried out Apidya (a shoot ’em up which makes use of an extra firebutton) and it went fairly well. On the PC I tried out the Turrican-clone Hurrican and on that the extra firebuttons really helped out. Turning into the steel wheel has never been easier, likewise with using the bomb function. The Competition Pro would only appeal to certain types of games and I recognise that a lot of people prefer to make use of a joypad. Joypads are less tiring to use but the Competition Pro USB will have its place. Was it a faithful remake? Well I suppose so, the extra firebuttons helped out and perhaps they needed some extra play on them. The main buttons seem to come slightly ajar after repeated use but it wasn’t a problem (I suspect a clip just failed) and they still functioned well. But never the less you would expect it to be a bit more solid in its construction.